We’re excited to welcome you back to Dubai! Learn more about our tour schedule and COVID-19 protocols here.

Indian Street Food in Dubai: What to Try & Where to Find It?

Nearly all Indians, whether in India or abroad, hold Indian street food or chaat dear to heart. Indian expats in Dubai are spoiled for choice by the many Indian restaurants that serve delicious plates of chaat. For instance, you’ll find everything from explosive pani puri to butter-loaded pav bhaji all within a very small radius in Bur Dubai. Therefore it’s no surprise that chaat is the first thing we serve on our Little India tour!

Our Indian guides Farida Ahmed (@faridaa) and Noorin Ansari (@noogoopoo) share their favourite Indian street food dishes in Dubai on our podcast. In addition, they share the Indian restaurants in the city where they go for their chaat fix. We’ve shared a summary version of dishes and restaurants. But to hear more about the Indian recipes and stories behind these dishes, click the player below or read the podcast transcript at the end of this post.

Quick summary:

Top 6 Indian street food dishes & where to find them*:

  1. Pav Bhaji at Sukh Sagar (Karama), Vaibhav Vegetarian Restaurant (Bur Dubai)
  2. Pani Puri at Rangoli (Karama, Oud Metha), Veg World (Bur Dubai), Chaat Bazaar (Karama)
  3. Dahi Puri at Rangoli
  4. Jhaal Muri at Lulu Supermarket (you can buy the Sona Muri brand of premixed Jhaal Muri and prepare it at home!)
  5. Raj Kachori at Bikanervala (multiple branches)
  6. Bedmi Aloo at Chatori Gali (Karama), Sadak Chaap (Karama), Salam Namaste (Bur Dubai)

*This information is current as of the date of this post. Please call before you visit the restaurants to make sure they’re still serving the dish!

Want more of our scrumptious podcast episodes? Feast on our main podcast page here!

Subscribe on: Apple Podcast App  |  Spotify (available on AppStore and Google Play) | Stitcher (available on AppStore and Google Play)  |  Google Play Music (currently supported only for listeners in US/Canada) | Anghami


Not a fan of audio? Here’s the show transcript for you to read!

 

Arva Ahmed [Host]: This show is brought to you by Dubai’s most gluttonous food tour company, Frying Pan Adventures, and you’re listening to Deep Fried. Hey there, I’m your host. Arva Ahmed and thanks for joining me on the show that’s inspired by flavours of the East. This podcast celebrates the flavors that we as storytellers, content creators and food tour guides with Frying Pan Adventures have discovered in Dubai.

And one of those flavors, well let me say series of flavors, is chaat or Indian street food. Tangy, spicy, explosively delicious, mostly vegetarian Indian street food. Now chaat is the stuff that Indian expats in Dubai like myself would never dare to actually enjoy on the streets of India.

It was like the forbidden fruit when we visited India. You could only have it in ultra sanitized settings, maybe like a reputable hotel, but the street carts were a big no-no. Because for tummies that have grown up in spanking clean Dubai, that roadside Trinity of chutney, sweat and pollution can be a bit much.

But Indian kids growing up in Dubai, kids like me, are no strangers to chaat because Dubai and especially Old Dubai has enough chaat places to give you a really good taste of what’s out there lurking on the streets of India. In fact chaat is so core to our Indian food experience here, that it’s the first thing we feature on our Little India food tour through Meena Bazaar.

So this episode is going to be a full on chaat chat. And it’s going to be with two of our food tour guides who are long time Indian expats in the city. The first is Farida Ahmed, our GM and food tour guide who’s best known for her tours of Little India, her photogenic memory for food trivia and her survival skills around deathly amounts of spice.

And the second is Noreen Ansari—our food tour guide who’s claim to fame are both her tours of our local Spice Souk and her home cooking where she’s known to challenge traditional Indian recipes with some unexpectedly delicious twists. Hey ladies, welcome to the show.

Hey Arva!

Farida: Hi Arva. I am so excited about this episode.

Arva: Awesome. So this is what I want us to do. Farida, you’re gonna first give us some historical context for chaat. So where in India did it come up first and who came up with this? And then we’ll have each of you list your top three chaat dishes. All right. So Farida, give us the backstory.

Farida: You know Arva, you are really asking me to tread on thin ice here. But I am going to go ahead and do it. I should mention that chaat is to the Indian subcontinent what falafels are to the Levant. Pretty much everyone claims it. Every state in India, even Pakistan claims ownership of chaat. So it’s very difficult to pinpoint but I will share with you one of the more popular legends around chaat origins.

One of the legends is that chaat probably originated around the time of the Mughal empire and during the reign of Shah Jahan. So Shah Jahan, very popular Mughal emperor, he is the man behind the Taj Mahal. And they say that when Shah Jahan shifted his capital from Agra to Delhi and renamed it as Shahjahanabad, Well some people say that there was an outbreak of cholera and that eventually gave rise to the need for eating spicy food cooked in clarified butter in order to kill harmful bacteria.

While another story goes that once the capital had moved, the royal physician, the royal hakim, informed Shah Jahan that the water from the Yamuna or from a local canal attached to it was not fit for consumption. And therefore people were going to have to increase their intake of spicy food to counteract the harmful effects of water.

And they said that is how chaat was created. What I can tell you for sure…

Arva: Wait, wait. So I’m just going to make you pause right there because are you use saying then that eating chaat can kill harmful bacteria? Which means that all these years of us abstaining from eating chaat on the street side was completely the flip of what we should have been doing when we visited India.

Farida: Again such a difficult question. Like you said earlier, right at the introduction. I would not always recommend for us to eat chaat on the streets of India because we suffer from a medical condition called expat tummy. But I will say this —when I lived in Goa for close to three years, over time I was able to get out there and have street food, everything from the Indian version of hakka noodles to pani puri on the street. And I was absolutely fine, but yes, a lot of the ingredients that go into making of chaat, into the chutneys, into the water are actually very, very helpful in counteracting harmful bacteria.

Arva: Okay. That’s food for thought.

Farida: Coming back what I can say for certain, chaat is a North Indian invention not a South Indian invention. And in all probability, it originated in parts of Delhi.as I mentioned, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat also lays a certain claim as well as Rajasthan and certain parts of Maharashtra.

Arva: So it really does have mixed origins across the Northern States of India.

Farida: It does. And it has filtered down to South India. And I will also add this. India is a country of such diverse religions communities, ethnicities, climates, topographies. And everywhere you go, every state, every village, every community has their own food. The one common denominator that unites our pallets is chaat.

It is also a great equalizer of Indian humanity because it doesn’t matter what your income level is. I have never met an Indian who doesn’t enjoy chaat. We all have fond memories of it. Every Indians childhood has a chaat memory. So for me, my most favorite chaat memories growing up with mom and dad, you know would take us to this, I don’t remember the name of this big chaat counter in Garhoud.

So we we’d have these rounds of tangy spicy chaat and then round off with a falooda or a kulfi. And my evening would be made.

Arva: Which brings me to the main focus of this episode, which is each of your top three chaat dishes. So Noreen, why don’t you get us started with one and tell us about what that dish is, what it contains, and if you can, where do you get the best one in Dubai?

Pav Bhaji

Noorin: Okay, let me just clear my throat from all the salivating that I’ve been doing! Thanks Farida for that.  What comes top of my head is pav bhaji, a famous Indian street food made up of spicy amalgamation of mashed vegetables served with soft buttered buns, which is your pav. The veggie mash, which is the bhaji, is garnished with finely chopped onions and fresh coriander, served with some lemon wedges and a dollop or in some cases, a stick of butter. Preferably salted Amul butter which is my favorite. Now the soft buns or the pav are toasted again, in oodles of butter and served alongside the pavs. Usually a plate of pav bhaji comes with just two pavs, but you can and one almost always does order many more.

That’s the catch 22 of pav bhaji. Either there is not enough pav to go with the bhaji or not enough bhaji to wipe with that extra pav that you always inadvertently end up ordering

Arva: I don’t know why they do that. Exactly. There’s never enough buttered buns in general in life. There’s never enough buttered buns. But definitely with pav bhaji, I do not understand why you would have an entire pool of bhaji and just one bun split into half. It makes no sense to me.

Noorin: I think that that’s how they want us to be…just keep ordering and eating more.  It’s not the best strategy, but well, we all end up doing that and I don’t mind honestly.

Growing up, my mom used to make this as a potluck dish to her parties and we would eagerly wait for her to come home with those leftovers, hoping against hope. Yeah. I can tell you for sure. We never got any leftovers on pav bhaji day. But the best place I’ve tried this in Dubai is at Sukh Sagar opposite Burjuman Centre. One of the best places.

Now see, my experience in India has been one called Sardars. This is in Bombay and this place is an endorsement of Amul butter. From top to bottom, their shelves are covered with Amul butter and there are rumors that apparently the owner’s son is married to the daughter of Amul’s owners. But rumours aside, I’ll tell you why there’s so much Amul in there. They have this huge cast iron wok pan. And on that they have on one side of that life-size wok, they have the bhaji cooking in tons of butter.

And then on the other side, there are buns being toasted in another pool of butter. All that aside, when you order your pav bhaji, it comes in a nice plate with generous serving off the pav and the bhaji. Now they give you four pavs and that’s a good amount of pavs for the buck. And on top of that, not a dollop, not a stick, an entire slab of Amul butter comes.

So that’s my expectation. Yeah. That’s my expectation.

Arva: And you’ve survived to tell the tale.

Noorin: I did, I did. I pretty much have that cholesterol running in my veins right now, but…

Farida: My heart just stopped! But Noorin did you know that pav bhaji owes its origins to one of the American civil wars or revolutions.

Noorin: No, please do tell.

Farida: Yeah. So I was reading about it and I think around that time, there was a shortage of cloth and trade happening across the world. So merchants in Gujarat especially, they’d come down to Maharashtra, and they were running their cloth mills all through the day, all through the night.

And when they come back home that late at night, their wives weren’t the kinds who were going to wait up to feed them. So a lot of street stall owners decided to take leftover veggies that were left behind at the end of the day, mash them up, take the Portuguese-influenced pav bread and voila! Pav bhaji was created for those merchants. Good wives. I would fall asleep. I’m not waiting to feed someone at two in the morning!

Arva: And talking about boatloads of butter, the place in Dubai that does something similar in terms of using huge bricks of butter is Vaibhav’s in Meena Bazaar. Now Farida do you know if they use Amul butter or is it just…

Farida: I’m not sure. I’m not sure because every time I’ve, you know, every time I’ve passed by there, I’m just riveted when they dropped that entire brick of butter. It is a brick of butter, not even a slab, it’s a brick of butter. And there’s nothing that gives me more pleasure in life than watching that butter melt on that hot tawa or skillet.

Arva: And he’s got this really fun masher where the butter is melting, all the veggies are being mashed up. And over time as you just stand there and watch, it is so mesmerizing because all those separate veggies just become this soft gloopy paste which he then spoons onto your plate. Buttered buns. And then you’re set.

Farida: And don’t forget the aroma standing there watching him do it. And then just the smell of all those lovely spices and chutneys and veg.

Arva: That’s the beauty of street food.

Farida: That is the beauty of street food. It always smells amazing.

Arva: All right. So that was Noreen’s pav bhaji. Farida, you’re up next.

Pani Puri

Farida: So I’m going to begin with my most favorite. And this particular chaat goes by various names, but the most common name is pani puri, which literally translates into watery bread. Everybody claims that their pani puri spot is the best . It’s very, very subjective. But at its heart, a pani puri consists of a puri, which is a hollowed, deep fried little crispy shell of a bread.

It can be made from different kinds of flours, semolina, whole wheat,  even split black lentils. And then usually what your chaatwala, the chaat vendor would do is he would thumb a little hole right in the center of that spherical puri, add in a stuffing and then top it with watery chutneys. And the best way you would eat that is to take the entire watery stuffed puri and just shove it in your mouth in one go. So think of a flavour bomb exploding in your mouth.

Arva: Yeah. that’s why I love the name gupchup as well.

Farida: So gupchup is what we call it in Hyderabad, Arva. And there, there are wars between the words gol gappa and pani puri. So if you go to Kolkata, the Bengalis will swear that puchkas are the best. If you go to Dilli (Delhi) it’s called gol gappa. If you’re in the Western part of India, like Mumbai, it is called pani puri. In certain parts of Lucknow, they would actually call it batashay. And as I mentioned,in Hyderabad, it’s gupchup. And the differences also come in the fillings.

So if you take the Bengali puchka, it’s usually a combination of black gram. They may have some potatoes. They will have a spicy water and a tangy chutney and their puris are slightly darker and bigger. If you head down to Bombay, technically should be made with a safayd vatana or a white pea or a green pea gravy.

And then you add mint.

Arva: Ragda

Farida: Ragda. Mint coriander chutney and a sweeter chutney made with tamarind and jaggery. Up north the gol gappa will have potatoes. It may have chickpeas. It may have bondi, which is deep fried chickpea flour spheres. It could also have sometimes, well, some places even put in sprouts.

And then again, you had the mint coriander spicy chutney and a sweeter chutney. But all of them will always have, almost always have either chaat masala or black salt or kala namak. So these are generally the differences. I hope I don’t get killed over this by anyone listening in.

Arva: You probably will because people are so passionate about their pani puri. And for folks who don’t speak Hindi. So Farida explained what pani puri means, but gupchup means shut your mouth because that’s exactly the situation you’re going to be in when you put a pani puri in your mouth. The thing with the Pani puri, I always explain it to people who are eating it for the first time. It’s like, when you’re going through a yellow light, you either go or you don’t go, you don’t kind of stay in the middle of the crossroad just figuring it out because with a pani puri, if you crunch into it half way rather than putting the whole thing in your mouth

Farida: You’ll be wearing it all over yourself!

Arva: Exactly. So that’s gupchup means shut your mouth. The other one was gol gappa, which is round mouth and puchka is sort of, I don’t know if I’m saying this word correctly, like an onomatopoeia where it sounds like the word sounds. Like the sound that is made in your mouth when that little crisp puri just goes pu-chak!

Farida: It does.

Arva: And I really do feel that pani puri especially is the kind of street food that is best enjoyed at the counter where every single puri is being made as you’re eating it. I mean, of course, in a restaurant format, they will bring you your puri and your chutneys separately and the filling separately, and you create it at the table. But it doesn’t have that same feel when you’re standing at the counter and you tell the guy, make it a little bit more. mitha or make it a little bit more theekha, make it sweeter or spicier. And he kind of adjusts every single one for you when he makes it and puts it there. It’s super fresh. That is the way pani puri has to be enjoyed. Standing up at the counter.

Farida: Agree. And here’s the thing. I think the reason that pani puri is hands down my favorite chaat is because I feel that no other chaat dish actually comprises the true flavour profile of chaat. And just like the Japanese have the flavor profile umami, chaat has a flavour profile called chatpatta, which is a combination of salty sour, tangy sweet and spicy.

And you get all of these five notes at same time when you have a pani puri. So usually on my tour, guests are very confused. They’re like Farida, how is this going to work? This is such a hodgepodge of flavors. And then they…it explodes in their mouth. And there’s this look of bemusement for a while. And then there is this realization that dawns on them. They’re like aha or Eureka because all the different corners of your taste buds or, you know, your sweet salty, are hit in just the right way at the same time. And you’re actually tasting each and every one of those flavour profiles. And for me, no other chaat does that.

Arva: Hundred percent. So what are your top places for pani puri Farida?

Farida: I’m going to start with a childhood favorite because I’ve been going there with mom since I was a teenager. Rangoli. And this was actually the original, you know, Rangoli in Meena Bazaar. Unfortunately, after 25 years of being there, the building is due for demolition. They’ve shut their doors over there, but they do have branches in Oud Metha and Karama.

And for me, I love it because when you ask them for a theeka or a spicy pani puri, they will not disappoint. And their filling is very light. It’s got a sprouted moong or sprouted green gram, boondi and Bengal gram or those little black, chickpeas. The other place I now actually go to as well is Veg World, also in Meena Bazaar.

And they will give you two kinds of fillings to choose from. So you can choose from the ragda or the white pea filling or you can choose from a filling which has potatoes, sprouts and the black gram. Not as spicy, but just as good.

Arva: I will also give a shout out to Chat Bazaar in Karama. They do a really solid round of pani puri. And I don’t know if they still have it but last when I checked, they had all of these funky variations with different kinds of fillings. Some of which seemed a little bit blasphemous to me, but if you are willing to go outside of the territory of just potatoes and radga, I don’t know, I think maybe they had pomegranate seeds in one, and

Farida: I wouldn’t mind pomegranate seeds. I’ve had at a restaurant that shall not be named of, I think it was a filling that included cucumbers. And I’m not for it.

Noorin: I don’ t know about that.

Farida: I’m not for it.

Arva: No, not, not cucumbers.

Noorin: Was that a warm pani puri?

Arva: No, cucumbers have no place in a pani puri.

Farida: Yes. For some reason I did not enjoy that at all. However, you know, I’m all for experimentation, hit and miss, but for me, I’m a classic kind of girl. I just like to keep it simple the way it’s always been.

Arva: All right. So we’ve just spoken about pav bhaji and pani puri, which are two popular chaat favorites across the country. We’re going to talk about more chaat dishes, but first let’s just take a quick pause for our proud sponsors Abela and Company.

<break>

Dahi Battata Puri

Noorin: To give you a little twist to the pani puri that Farida was talking about called dahi battata puri. Summertime snack food means anything to do with yogurt. To that you add a spicy, crunchy base and some tangy toppings. I mean, what more do you need? One of my go-to to chaat items is the dahi battata puri or the dahi puri. This is take on our crunchy mini puri shells that have been described very vividly by Farida, stuffed with mashed potatoes.

Hence the word battata. So battata is potato in Marathi, which is the native language in Bombay. And this is where it is mostly served. So we have carbs in our carbs now with the potatoes in the shells. Top it creamy whipped yogurt, coriander, tamarind chutney. And that is the basic version of the dahi puri. To that you can jazz it up with onions, sprinkle of red chili powder chaat masalaand tons of sev sprinkled on the entire plate. Now sev is a popular Indian snack food consisting of small pieces of crunchy noodles made from chickpea flour paste and seasoned with salt. It is like broken vermicelli noodles. I love to blanket this dish with sev because the dahi or the yogurt, yeah,the dahi or the yogurt will eventually soften the crunchy bits and sev will still maintain a crunch in every bite since it is on top of the wet ingredients.

Farida: Arva isn’t that your favourite as well?

Arva: You know, yeah, I was just gonna say that dahi battata puri is my favorite because I am quite the sad excuse for an Indian. So I am not great with spice. And I know that the correct way of making dahi battata puri is that you, you balance the spiciness with the yogurt. But when I order it. I feel so embarrassed saying this but this is what I want.

I want no spice on mine or maybe a drop. I literally stand and be like, just put a drop. Okay. Stop. And then I need it drowning. Like I need it swimming. Drenched in yogurt and lots and lots and lots of tamarind chutney because you can never have enough tamarind chutney. And I like it like this big fat pool of chutney and potatoes and broken up crisp puri.

That is the way I like to have my dahi battata puri to the point where at the end there’s just sauce. And you kind of have no choice but to drink it up, I am sorry, fellow Indians. Alright so my favorite one, dahi battata puri. Noorin thank you for sharing that. Farida, what have you got?

Jhaal Muri

Farida: So I’m going to pay homage to Kolkata again because I feel that especially in Dubai, the Bengali version of chaat doesn’t get celebrated as much as Maharashtra or Dilli or even U.P. Jhaal muri. For those of you not familiar with jhaal muri, I don’t want to liken it to the Western Indian bhelpuri but some of the components are similar.

And I’m going to share with you a recipe that was shared with us by a good friend Ishita. So we actually had a Sufra event where Ishita hosted and cooked up a storm of a wonderful Bengali meal.

And the appetizer was jhaal muri…

Arva: Hey we evendid a podcast episode with her, where she cooked this wholeridiculous,amazing feast for us!

Farida: We did. I think she thought an army was coming over.

Arva: Which is an army.

Farida:It was just the two of us. Her table…yeah. True. But her table, I think, was buckling under with food. The jhaal muri that she made was wonderful and all you need is puffed rice or muri as it is called in West Bengal. Even in Bangladesh, in East India.

Cumin powder, red chili powder goes into it. Black salt or chaat masala. You need tamarind paste, Ishita will specify not concentrate. Lime, cucumber, tomatoes, onions, green chilies, they’re optional, roasted peanuts, sev that Noreen explained, coconut, a little bit of mustard oil, fresh coriander leaves and roasted cumin powder for the garnish.

Often it will be served in a kind of a newspaper or a paper cone. And as you’re walking, you just keep snacking on it. I wish the cinemas here would serve jhaal muri in addition to popcorn because I would go for that every single time.

And here’s the thing about puffed rice. It’s actually more nutritious for you because the puffing process actually breaks down certain enzymes. So it makes it even more easy to digest and ups the nutritional content. And Ishita also shared with us a little cheat trick. She says that Lulu supermarkets have a brand called Suna Muriwhich comes with the muri or puff rice. And in there they’ve premixed things like sev and peanuts and some of the other spices. So you already have your ready base. You just have to get that mustard, oil, fresh coriander leaves and a little bit of roasted cumin powder for garnish.

Arva: Oh, that’s a really handy tip. Thank you Ishita. All right, so that’s two down, one more to go for each of you. Noorin?

Raj Kachori

Noorin: Oh, I’ve saved the best for last. I am going to talk about the raj kachori. I was introduced to this mega bombshell chaat dish by my mother-in-law. She loves to feast on chaat items and this is one of her favourites. So the raj kachori is an amplified version of the snack called kachori originated in Rajasthan as a snack that was made by the Marwaris of the Marwar region.

This is a play on making something that lasted in the hot climate in the state of Rajasthan. So this is made with whole wheat flour and semolina, some salt, fennel seeds and coriander seeds. This dough is then kneaded and rolled into small circles and stuffed with various ingredients. Some just have caramelized onions and that is called pyaaz kachori while others,and this is more common, with soaked moong daal and amchur powder, which isdried mango powder. And this is called the mogar kachori or or the daal kachori. Once deep fried to crisp, this is served with an aloo or potato bhaji for breakfast. So that’s your kachori. Now a raj kachori literally means King of Kachoris because of its king size and the richness in the flavors of this dish. Now what goes in there? A chaatwala will take this life-sized unstuffed kachori shell, break the top open. And then the magic begins. You add some cubed boiled potatoes, boiled channa or chickpeas. Next, add in some boiled or sprouted moong dal.

Then goes a generous dollop of creamy whipped yogurt. And Arva I’m pretty sure you’re going to put a lot more yogurt here. Then pour a little bit of a spicy green chutney. I like mine spicy. And I know Farida you do too since you are the spice fiend of the group. And some sweet and sour tamarind chutney as required. Sprinkle with some black salt, red chilli powder and chaat masala.

Then goes some crushed puris or flattened crisp flour crackers, some boondi, which you described as the droplet size crisp snack made from gram flour. And my favourite, tons of sev sprinkled on top. Now before serving it is garnished with some pomegranate pearls and some chopped coriander. And this takes me about 25 minutes or so to eat alone.

It is huge and looks so regal when it is served and is filled with burst of flavors. It almost feels sinful to break it apart and eat, but it’s worth it.

Arva: Commit the sin.

Noorin: I do. I do. I quite often do.

Farida: I love Raj kachori.

Arva: Okay. Just, I mean, cut to the chase, tell us where to get it because now we obviously have to get it. Like now.

Noorin: I have had one of the best ones at Bikanerwala in Karama and in their Barsha branch as well.

Arva: I was not expecting that.

Noorin: Yeah.

Arva: Raj kachori. I love that. Farida. Your last one. What is it going to be?

Bedmi Aloo

Farida: Oh my God. This is like asking me to choose between my right eye, left eye and a third eye if I had one. So was a tossup for me between ragda pattice or ragda pay-tis as some people call it, palak chaat and bedmi puri or bedmi aloo.

But I feel at least for a lot of the Indians who are listening in, you’re familiar with palak chaat, you know what ragda pattice is. So I’m going to go with bedmi puri or bedmi aloo, because I myself learned about this a short few years ago.

This is found in purani dilli or the streets of old Delhi, Chandi Chowk. Some people would say that the bedmi puri originated in Lucknow. Some people would say Rajasthan. I’m just happy someone created it because it is amazing.

A bedmi puri is basically a huge puri.. So just like you would have a bhatura. A huge, huge puri, except that the flour that goes into making it is a combination usually of whole wheat and split black lentils or black gram or even green gram.

So the puri that you get is darker in colour and it’s sturdier. It’s actually sturdier and crispy. And on the side, you would have a very special kind of aloo ki sabji served. So you have potatoes that are boiled in a gravy that is purposely left, quite watery. Initially tomatoes were not added in, but now a lot of street stall vendors will add in tomatoes.

And then you have your regular suspects, like amchur—raw dried mango powder. You may have chaat masala, absolutely garam masala, pinch of asafoetida, turmeric, green chilies, all of those other good ingredients.

And in Dilli you would actually have bedmi puri for breakfast. Imagine the calories-rich, carb-rich…

Arva: Mmm…breakfast chaat!

Farida: A breakfast chaat. And of course, on a cold Dilli morning, a bedmi puri is something that I would go for. And the place that I tried it over here, the first time I ever tried it, I have not tried it in Delhi and I cannot wait to go there to try it out, is a little hole in the wall in Meena Bazaar called

Salam Namaste. I am not sure if they still do bedmi aloo. I know that Chatori Galli and Sadak Chaap have it on their menus. But if you do get a chance to try it, have it. It’s absolutely amazing. And usually it would be served on the side with a fenugreek chutney or sometimes a kadu lawnji, which is usually made out of gourds or just simple style pickles, not too spicy.

Arva: You know, Delhi really has some fantastic chaat, especially in Chandi Chowk. So when you mentioned this Farida, it just took me back to a time many years ago when I had gone there for a work trip, when I had the best fruit chaat there, which was basically potatoes mixed with all kinds of fruit in this really tangy mouth watering, lip smacking, all of the adjectives you want to use, throw that in there!

And that it was so delicious. And it was served in those leaf cups.

Farida: Peepal leaves. So traditionally you would serve chaat on the streets in a bowl, made out of peepal leaves.

Talk about being biodegradable!

Arva: Exactly!

Farida: But Arva, here’s the thing. A lot of people claim again, I’m not all too familiar with Dilli, but a lot of street vendors in Dilli actually come from U.P. So you, of course you have proper Dilli people making chaat, but a lot of the chaat vendors also come in from U.P. and Lucknow. And in Hyderabad, where we are from, a lot of the chaat vendors are actually from Bihar.

Arva: Well, whoever comes up with these fantastic chaat dishes, I am grateful. I don’t care where in India it’s from, I’m happy that it’s the one thing that really cuts across the different States. Ladies, I think it’s time to wrap up because we all need to go find ourselves a plate of chaat each before we break down.

And I’m pretty close to that point. Thank you for getting us super hungry as you always do. And to our listeners, if you want to find our two speakers on social to chat chaat their Instagram handles are @faridaa. And @noogoopoo. We’ll share that in our show notes as well. And you can connect with us at @fryingpanadventures on Instagram and Facebook and @fryingpantours on twitter.

Hey, I hope you enjoyed tuning in. And if you liked the show, please rate, review and share it.

Before we head off. I’m going to leave you with these wise words by late American celebrity chef Paul Prudhomme from Louisiana, and what he says really captures what Farida had to say about Indian street food being a real equalizer across people from different social economic backgrounds.

And he says:

You don’t need a silver fork to eat good food.

Get the Juice!

Be the first to get discount codes, updates on new tours, hot tips on food in the city and more.

Sign Up